• Hi, I am the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • This site contains affiliate links for which Styleforum may be compensated.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

    Styleforum is supported in part by commission earning affiliate links sitewide. Please support us by using them. You may learn more here.

Alden "Genuine Leather" Belt

osully

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I just got this belt from Alden in the mail which says it's black calfskin.


The belt itself says on the inside "genuine leather." Does genuine leather encompass a broader category of leathers, or am I right that it's the lowest quality, and paying $200 for such a belt would be insane?
 

osully

New Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
I just got this belt from Alden in the mail which says it's black calfskin.


The belt itself says on the inside "genuine leather." Does genuine leather encompass a broader category of leathers, or am I right that it's the lowest quality, and paying $200 for such a belt would be insane?
I don't have any particularly nice dress belts, so my frame of reference isn't great. I kind of just assumed that buying Alden would be a safe bet.

Any comments would be appreciated
 

TheIronDandy

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
312
Reaction score
1,106
A friend of mine who works in the leather industry* told me that "genuine leather" is indeed the lowest grade of leather. "Genuine leather" includes ground down leather scraps mixed with a chemical binder (glue) to form what at first glance looks like a solid piece of leather, but scratches easily and cracks over time. This product is to real, full grain leather what plywood is to solid planks.

That said, I don't think there's any law saying you can't label a higher grade of leather as "genuine leather" if you want to, so it COULD be better leather...

* In the EU, other regions may have different rules.
 

classicalthunde

Distinguished Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
2,712
Reaction score
2,449
I don't have any particularly nice dress belts, so my frame of reference isn't great. I kind of just assumed that buying Alden would be a safe bet.

Any comments would be appreciated

I think you might be overthinking it a bit. I imagine they use the same leather quality on their belts that they do on their shoes, which is not the highest but also certainly not the lowest and would reasonably be called good quality leather.

I don't think the term 'genuine leather' bears any significance on the grading of leather (like Prime-grade beef) other than to say its actually leather...
 

FrankyB

New Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2024
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
I just got this belt from Alden in the mail which says it's black calfskin.


The belt itself says on the inside "genuine leather." Does genuine leather encompass a broader category of leathers, or am I right that it's the lowest quality, and paying $200 for such a belt would be insane?"
"genuine leather" basically means that they actually used real leather and not some composite or plastic. As somebody else above me said already, it could be anything from bad quality leather to great quality leather but the latter is less likely.
I think many manufacturers use this to save their butt from customer complaints because if they would label it something like "100% full grain leather", even if the belt is full grain, any customer that cuts up the belt will see that their is a core stripe within the belt that is not made of full grain leather (or not even leather at all) so it would be untrue. However, you would not want to have a belt without that because that core is made from more flexible material, making the belt less rigid. I once had a belt that was actually made from 100% leather and let me tell you, it was not fun wearing that thing. would have lasted a lifetime though.
so, long story short, "genuine leather" can mean anything and if they don't mention "full grain", you have a greater chance that they used lower quality leather, which, for that price, is ridiculous. However, most brands use these lower levels of leather these days, even some of the high end ones.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

NateLeather

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2024
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
A friend of mine who works in the leather industry* told me that "genuine leather" is indeed the lowest grade of leather. "Genuine leather" includes ground down leather scraps mixed with a chemical binder (glue) to form what at first glance looks like a solid piece of leather, but scratches easily and cracks over time. This product is to real, full grain leather what plywood is to solid planks.
New here, but I can comment on this. Yes - genuine leather is almost always a composite - think MDF (wood type).

It'll do, but a veg tanned or latigo or bridle belt that's well made will outlast it in looks and function any time. Or cordovan if you want the best and will pay it (but hard to get it in single piece long enough for a belt).

Alden is decent generally. But "genuine leather" isn't always the best stuff.

Real full grain or top leather will break in over time. You can speed it up with conditioners sometimes.

Anyhow -- my 2 cents (I did 4 belts for a guy who wanted the real deal -- veg tanned -- to replace his "police" belts -- seems happy so far).

I've made belts (jeans type) out of the good stuff that have lasted 10+ years and still going.
 

Featured Sponsor

How important is full vs half canvas to you for heavier sport jackets?

  • Definitely full canvas only

    Votes: 86 37.6%
  • Half canvas is fine

    Votes: 87 38.0%
  • Really don't care

    Votes: 24 10.5%
  • Depends on fabric

    Votes: 36 15.7%
  • Depends on price

    Votes: 36 15.7%

Forum statistics

Threads
506,587
Messages
10,590,683
Members
224,280
Latest member
illuminatiag215
Top